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Tuesday, December 19 • 16:40 - 18:10
Achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda in a Digital Future: Where Do Youth Stand? (WS90)

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Proposer's Name: Ms. Khouloud Dawahi
Proposer's Organization: UN Major Group for Children and Youth
Co-Proposer's Name: Mr. Donovan Guttieres
Co-Proposer's Organization: UN Major Group for Children and Youth
Co-Organizers:
1. Mr. Donovan Guttieres, Civil Society, United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth (UN MGCY)
2. Ms. Khouloud Dawahi, Civil society,UN Major Group for Youth and Children 

Session Format: Panel - 90 Min
Format description: The session will start by setting the scene and outlining the purpose and objectives of the session. Speakers will then offer flash presentations reflecting on the work undergone by their respective organizations while sharing best practices, lesson learned, recommendations, and emerging trends with the audience. These brief presentations will set the stage for an interactive, moderated discussion between the speakers of the panel and the audience, followed by questions and answers, and a conclusion.

Proposer:
Country: Tunisia
Stakeholder Group: Civil Society

Co-Proposer:
Country: United Kingdom
Stakeholder Group: Civil Society

Speaker: khouloud Dawahi 
Speaker: Donovan Guttieres
Speaker: Sharada Srinivasan
Speaker: Michael Joseph Oghia

Content of the Session:
This workshop will take the form of an interactive, intergenerational discussion to leverage the expertise and research experiences of the diverse organizations taking part in the session. The focus of the discussion will be at the intersection of ICTs, policy, youth, and sustainable development. It will highlight the ways in which ICTs can be used to share knowledge, promote citizen-based reporting on the SDGs, build capacity, and enable access to tools for implementing the SDGs. Enhancing digital literacy is especially important to leverage the potential benefits that come from ICTs. It will further highlight the importance of engaging youth in decision-making processes surrounding ICTs, allowing them to deliberate and share perspectives on the intersection of ICTs, policy, society, and governance. For example, youth are actively engaged in conducting impact assessments on the social, environmental, and economic dimensions of ICTs, including its design, development, deployment, scale, and appropriate and inclusive use. As pivotal catalysts in implementing the SDGs, engaging youth is crucial to mobilize long-lasting change.

During the workshop, the panelists will present examples of youth-led initiatives to enhance and democratize access to Internet and appropriate use of ICTs, as well as youth-led participatory technology assessments and foresight surrounding ICTs, and a range of other topics. Speakers come from diverse regions, backgrounds, and field of practice - which contribute to an engaging and fruitful dialogue. The panel will then discuss various topics at the intersection of ICTs, policy, and society, focusing on the role of youth using ICTs as a vehicle towards achieving the 2030 Agenda. The panel will give a chance for the presenters, along with other invited panelists, to discuss some of the questions highlighted below.

During the panel discussion with the audience both on site and remotely, the following questions will be addressed:

1. How can ICTs be used to enhance participation of youth towards the SDGs? (e.g. knowledge share, awareness raising, reporting)

2. How can ICTs be used as an enabler for youth to contribute to implementing the SDGs? (e.g. digital skills, ICT tools)

3. What avenues do youth have to formally engage in ICT-related discussions and decision making at the global, regional, and national level? What barriers do they face?

4. What are examples and best practices for democratizing access to ICT knowledge, building digital literacy, and ensuring appropriate use ICTs for sustainable livelihoods and community resilience?

5. How can youth in developing countries leverage the rapid rate of digitization, as well as different e-governance structures that give rise to unique patterns of innovation, in order to leapfrog into the digital economy?

6. How and in what ways do the generic properties of ‘digital creativity’ create different kinds of opportunity for decent jobs and movement across traditional work roles?

7. What is the importance of youth engaging in participatory technology assessments for ICTs? How can they meaningfully engage?

During the event, the UN Major Group for Children & Youth, as the formal General Assembly mandated space for meaningful youth participation in certain intergovernmental processes, will launch a youth-led, peer-review, publication comprised of crowdsourced policy briefs on the topics of digital technology, e-governance, and inclusivity for the 2030 Agenda. This will provide a space for inputs from youth from around the globe, reflecting the positions of youth on emerging issues, best practices, and lessons learned on this topic.

After the moderated panel discussion, the floor will be open for Q&A, from both participants present in the room and those online. The panel will close with recommendations on enhancing access to ICTs and ensuring an inclusive digital future for all.

Relevance of the Session:
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have made it possible for more people to connect to the internet than ever before, with the number increasing each day. A 2014 report by the ITU on annual global ICT use highlights that more than 3 billion people are connected to the internet worldwide. In 2015, the percentage of the population living in areas covered by mobile broadband networks stood at 69 per cent globally. In rural areas, the share was only 29 per cent (Report of the Secretary-General on Progress towards the SDGs). While half the world continues to reap the benefits and make use of an increasingly digital and interconnected society, the other half is left behind. Addressing systemic gaps in reliable access to ICTs and bridging the digital divide is key to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Target 9.c outlines the importance of investing in the requisite physical and digital infrastructure to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet, especially in least developed countries, by 2020. Target 17.8 further emphasizes the potential use of ICTs as a cross-cutting means-of-implementation throughout the 2030 Agenda. Initiatives such as the Technology Facilitation Mechanism, technology banks for LDCs, and other capacity building systems need to adequately address such barriers and enable both appropriate technology use and inclusive policy environments to stay true to the 2030 Agenda’s commitment of “leaving no one behind.”

Youth, defined as individuals between the ages of 13 and 35 by the Youth Coalition on Internet Governance (YCIG), are identified as the catalyst of change in the interconnected world. Comprising close to 50% of the global population, they are key partners in implementing the 2030 Agenda. They are perceived as early adopters of technology, especially ICTs, and able to adapt technology to suit their needs, Furthermore, they are drivers of technology development and innovation. Youth and ICTs are thus two of the main building blocks needed to achieve the 2030 Agenda, as well as the requisite resilience for a sustainable post-2030 digital future.

Tag 1: Internet & ICTs for the Sustainable Development Goals
Tag 2: Youth Engagement
Tag 3: Leaving No One Behind in the Digital Future

Interventions:
1. Ms. Katherine Townsend -World Bank /USAID- Global perspective
2. Khouloud Dawahi ,Civil Society ,United Nations Major Group for Children & Youth (UN MGCY) - Global perspective
3. Mr. Mark W. Datysgeld - Governance Primer Coalition - perspective from LAC
4. Ms. Sharada Srinivasan, Civil society CTIC Research Fellow, 1 World Connected, University of Pennsylvania of Law - Global perspective
5. Mr. Michael Oghia, Civil society, Youth Coalition on Internet Governance interim steering committee member - Eastern European perspective.
6. Ms. Chenai Chair, Technical society, Chair, Researcher & Communications/Evaluations Advisor, Research ICT Africa-African Perspective
7. Ms. Meicen Sun, Civil Society, PhD Student, Political Science Department, Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Asian Perspective

Diversity:
The proposed speakers, are well informed about the key issues relating to youth engagement and Internet & ICTs for Sustainable Development since they are young experts working on youth-led initiatives in the field of sustainable development .They also represent different regional perspectives (American and Latin American, European, African, and Asian), different organizations working on ICTs for development and youth engagement (UN MGCY, Governance Primer Coalition, Centre for Youth Empowerment and Leadership, Research ICT Africa, Youth Coalition on Internet Governance, and more), and different stakeholders (Civil society ,Academia, and intergovernmental). Not to mention that the speakers represent both developing and developed countries. 

Onsite Moderator: Khouloud Dawahi - UN Major Group for Children and Youth 
Online Moderator: Arsène Tungali - The Youth Coalition on Internet Governance
Rapporteur: Su Sonia Herring - The Youth Coalition on Internet

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Session Organizers

Tuesday December 19, 2017 16:40 - 18:10
Room XXII - E United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)

Attendees (80)